St. Stephen’s Human Services is a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based nonprofit group that serves as a source of support and advocacy for community members facing homelessness. The organization provides emergency assistance in areas such as housing and employment, and it engages in community outreach to garner understanding and support for individuals in need.
Seeking to address the growing issue of family homelessness, St. Stephen’s recently launched its Young Parents Pilot Program (YPP), which provides specialized assistance to parents of young children who lack stable housing. Catering to individuals ages 18 to 24 and serving a large number of single mothers, the program assists families who are currently staying at shelters in Hennepin County, Minnesota.
YPP participants benefit from the guidance of case managers who work to build ongoing relationships with their clients. Case managers help young parents find and secure stable housing in safe locations, and they help them to identify opportunities for public assistance.
After finding a stable residence, YPP parents receive ongoing support from the program. They continue to meet with case managers to learn vital life skills such as budgeting, gain information about tenants’ rights and responsibilities, and develop plans to reach their long-term goals. They also benefit from other St. Stephen’s resources such as the Healthy Families program, which allows young mothers and fathers to develop their parenting skills with the support of early childhood development specialists. In this way, the Young Parents Pilot Program helps parents achieve their future educational and professional goals by first offering them the necessary resources to maintain a safe, stable home for their families.